First, I want to apologize for not updating for a while. It’s all been a blur as we get settled and adjust to the new city. Part of that was due to the inevitable bout of food poisoning that put me down for four or five days last week. It looked like a reputable place to get pho, but it was not.
Despite the illness, I still managed to land a job teaching with the Vietnamese United States Society (VUS), and I had my first classes last weekend. The kids are great, and I’ve really enjoyed teaching them. They are really interested in my beard (two of them have given it a tug when I was bending down helping another student) and in learning more about me. I spend a good amount of time answering questions about where I lived in America and things like that even with the ones who only speak at a very low level.
Hope and I both got stationed at a newer campus way out in District 12. It takes about a half hour to drive there, so I went and rented a motorbike. Although the traffic looks crazy when you’re standing on the side of the road, it all makes sense once you’re in it. Everyone flows together like a school of fish. You are responsible for everything to your sides and in front, knowing that everyone behind you is watching out for you as well. It’s the type of traffic pattern that could only work in a Buddhist country, mainly because they believe in reincarnation.
Other than that, Hope and I have just been wandering around, completely in shock about our surroundings. The smells and sights change hourly, and each time of day brings something new. People watching here is a past time, so we spend a great deal of time sitting at cafes and restaurants watching motorbikes go by drinking coffee or beer. This is a country of leisure. It is taking us time to relax and understand that, when a full time job only lasts 20-25 hours a week, you have to fill your time in other ways. I’m looking forward to spending more of that time exploring the city and seeing what else the country has to offer.